I spent most of yesterday in Tillamook with the dogs, birding the Bayocean Spit and Tillamook Bay Wetlands.  Spent a couple hours at each spot.  I stopped at the wetlands first and found the parking area full of cars and people, seemed pretty annoying, so headed to the spit instead.  Turns out it was a Portland Audubon trip.  Ah, well.  At the spit the first bird I saw was a Red-shouldered Hawk perched on some driftwood...

From the parking area I could see dozens of Yellow-rumped Warblers flycatching, chickadees flitting about, and Varied Thrushes perching on the tops of trees.

As we walked along the fire road I noticed three Bald Eagles flying together, pursuing a gull...

Looks like they were close to grabbing it, but even with all three eagles in pursuit they never succeeded and eventually just landed on the beach.

The gulls were all doing their aerial-shellfish-bombings on the beach to try to crack em open.  This Western Gull kept dropping his in a puddle though, which seems rather ineffective.

We made our way through the trees and over the dunes to the ocean so the dogs could have some playtime.  This is the same beach where Ralph lost his off-leash privileges last year (thanks to the goats that seem to have been relocated since).  So only Jake got to really run.  Ralph just ran in circles on an extra long leash. 

On the way back along the spit I could see some shorebirds had gathered.  I think it was a mix of Dunlin and Sanderlings but there could be other birds mixed in.  They were having trouble settling down.

That was about it for the spit- on the way out I watched this heron making a graceful landing...

Tillamook Bay Wetlands was a new place for me- a huge thanks to Dawn over at the blog, Central Oregon Coast, for the information on how to find it!  I was psyched to find the parking area completely empty when I returned, and even more psyched to not see any "no dogs allowed" signs!  The sun even started peeking out at the beginning of our walk. 

The first birds I saw were tons more Yellow-rumped Warblers with a few Townsend's mixed in...

It was a gorgeous area to explore... 

Certainly no shortage of Red-tailed Hawks, ravens, or eagles.  My main reason for wanting to visit this area was to hopefully see a White-tailed Kite.  No luck, though at one point I saw a Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree with another bird that I tried to turn into a kite...

I'm still not sure what that bird on the left was...  I have more crappy photos of it flying off but still can't figure it out.  I saw where it landed and was starting to walk that way when I looked down and locked eyes with a coyote.  Dang it.  If I had been alone I would have kept going, but with the dogs I don't take chances. 

Ah well, so I didn't see the birds I came for (kites and shrikes) but I did have a lot of fun exploring a new area and I look forward to returning soon!  A couple of ravens seemed eager to usher me on out of the area...

Good times and tired dogs!


  1. It looks like I have to visit this area.

    Were the birds not identified, raptors? Could it have been Sharp-shinned hawks?

    Great post.

  2. Hi Jen, Sounds like a great day of birding. Your dogs must love these walks with you. Jake looks cute running with his stick. Cool series of eagle shots, that gull must have been scared silly with the eagles after him. LOL! Love the Townsends Warbler shot, I got to see my first one on Friday, just over the Md state line in Pennsylvania. I enjoyed the post and photos. Happy Birding!

  3. So glad you got to try it out - we did the spit yesterday but too many people and not many birds. I've seen coyote scat but no coyotes yet at the wetlands - isn't it just the coolest place!?! Jealous of the townsend's - love those warblers but don't seem to see them too often.

  4. Looks like an amazing landscape; I'm envious of your Townsend's and Varieds. Love the shorebird flocks, too.

  5. you had a great day!! SO Cool to see a Townsends I bet, Ive never seen one but ID'd it right off from your photo---
    Love the shot of Jake n his stik...I cant let Annie off leash but Flossie can be trusted to stay nearby so she gets full off leash priviledges.


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